Kyle Kranz of Skora contacted me to see if I would be interested in receiving a pair of their shoes for use, review, and giveaway on my Facebook page.  I had seen a couple other Facebook pages do giveaways with them, and I was interested in giving them a try too!  I was sent the FORM R01-002W04, which retails at $185.00 but is on sale for $129.50.

Not knowing a thing about their shoes, I went to their website that featured this description:

“FORM is definition of premium performance. Featuring a full-leather upper made of Pittards Goatskin leather with WR100X leather lining, FORM is designed with asymmetric lacing and no-tongue construction to provide a glove-like fit in combination with stitch-down construction and an Ortholite insole."

After receiving them in the mail, I wasn’t too impressed with the general look and styling of the shoe.  To be quite honest, I thought the shoe was a bit odd looking in styling and color combo.  Normally I choose bright, fun colors to match my running clothing and black, coral, and blue didn’t quite meet my color or style preference.  In my opinion, they had more of the appearance of an orthopedic shoe than athletic running shoe.  After viewing their website, I did notice several other styles that I prefer, but since I am reviewing this particular style, I had to give my honest opinion.

Skora claims the shoe is designed to provide a unique anatomical fit that closely matches the foot’s shape.  It also features a zero-drop outsole/midsole with minimal cushioning and a curved section profile in both the forefoot and heel.  This is designed to allow for optimal natural movement and performance.

My first impression when I tried them on was that they felt strange.  The heel section of the shoe made my heel roll around on the floor, almost as if I had to break them in and let my feet settle into the heel shape.  Once the shoe was on, I noticed the laces seemed a little too long.  I had to double knot them, and asymmetrical lacing wasn't to my liking.  I noticed after I took them for a test run of six miles that the top of my foot was sore due to the overlap of leather where the “no-tongue” and shoe came together.  I felt like they designed this shoe for a specific kind of foot, and my foot just didn’t fit the mold, so to speak.  It just didn’t feel right. 

The shoe touts to have a perfect balance of comfort, cushioning and control that will take you further on any surface you throw at it with a zero-drop, 13mm stack height platform engineered for excellent ground feel.

Yes, excellent ground feel; I felt like I was running on the ground barefoot!  After experiencing a stress fracture to my femoral head a few years ago that required surgery and three screws, I choose to run on softer ground, paying special attention to my running form.  I practice the Chi Running form; a mid-foot strike with forward lean.  While running in this shoe, I noticed I had to slow down my pace since I felt more impact on my feet.  After six miles, the shoe did seem to fit my foot much better, but I was concentrating on my form so much, and compensating so as to not land hard and end up with another stress fracture, that it wasn’t very enjoyable.  It slowed my pace way down.  I have been running marathons (11 total) since 2009 and have learned that I tend to get injured easily.  I can’t overdo my training, or I will end up laid up.  I prefer a shoe with a bit more cushion in my old age of 46…Ha!

In conclusion, I would like to continue to give them a try.  In addition to my trial run, I also wore them while training my clients; I am also a personal trainer and running coach.  I was going to try and run a shorter distance in them once a week, but then I experienced some post-run foot pain and thought I better go back to my normal running shoes for now.  It is important for runners to know they need to try out different brands and styles of shoes to see which ones work best for them.  I appreciate the opportunity to try out the shoes, but won’t be making the switch at this time.  As far as wearing them for coaching, I think they are great!  I can balance better in them due to their construction.  I will continue to wear them for coaching clients and cross training, but not on the road.